Building an Application

Now that you have some knowledge of the basic Process Director and Form concepts, you can start building a simple application. This section is designed to provide an outline of the steps needed to create a Process Director application, giving you links to the specific section of the documentation that address the configuration options available for each step. Following this outline should help you get started building Process Director Applications.

Note This topic concentrates only on the actual, physical process of building application objects. For a much more expanded, high-level overview of the whole application development process, you may be interested in watching this BP Logix Training Webinar on the application development process. This webinar covers the four different stages of application development: Design, Development, Testing, and Release. Each stage is explained in detail, with advice on the best practices to implement in the development process at each stage.

Application Creation

  1. The first thing you need to do is create the folder where your application will reside. To see how to create your application folder, please see the topic on Creating Content List Objects.
  2. Once the folder is created, you can begin creating objects such as Forms and Process Timelines inside the folder. The process for creating objects was linked in the Step 1. We recommend that all application objects be stored in the application folder, to make importing and exporting your application easier. To see how we recommend your application be organized, please see the topic on Importing/Exporting Content.
  3. You can create your form inside the application folder, using the same process in Step 1. When you initially create the form, the form will automatically open in design view, using the Online Form Designer. Please see the Online Form Designer topic to familiarize yourself with the basics of the online form designer.
    1. You'll need to add controls to the form to store your data. Process Director has many controls. The Basic Form Controls topic covers the most common Process Director form controls. All of the remaining controls can be viewed from the Additional Controls topic. These topics explain all of the different options that are available to you for configuring the controls.
    2. Once you've added controls to your form, you can close and save the designer. Once you do so, there are additional configuration options available to you in the Form definition. You can see all of the available options at the Form Definition Properties topic, but you may want to pay particular attention to the section on the additional properties for form controls.
  4. With your initial form fields configured, you can now create the Process Timeline for your application. Again, you can follow the link in Step 1 to see how to create an object. Please see the Process Timelines topic to learn the basic concepts behind the Process Timeline.
    1. Process Timelines consist of a number of activities that specify how to perform each step of your process. The Process Timeline has no activities when you first create it, but you can add as many activities as you like by clicking the Create Activity link in the Timeline definition. The Process Timeline Activities topic covers the basics of configuring a Timeline Activity. More detailed information about specific activity types can be found in the Process Timeline Activity Types topic.
  5. Now that you have a Form and a Process Timeline, the two objects will need to be linked. You'll usually need to link both objects.
    1. You can link the Form to the Timeline from the Properties Tab of the Form definition, using the Automatically start this process after Form is submitted and Timelines Associated with Form properties.
    2. You can link the Process Timeline to the Form from the Options Section of the Process Timeline Definition, using the Form for Process Timeline property.
  6. You may want to set up some Business Rules to make decisions about how the Form or Process Timeline will work. Please see the Business Rules topic to learn about creating and configuring Business Rules.
  7. If your application needs to access data from some external database, you can create a Datasource to link to the external data, then, using that Datasource link, create a Business Value to retrieve data from the database. The Datasource Objects topic describes the basics of Datasources, while the Business Values topic discusses the different methods available for retrieving data from other sources.
  8. Often, when you use external data from Step 7, you need to use that data to set the value of a form field, or to fill a dropdown control's options with a list of items from a database.
    1. The Set Form Data tab of the Form definition is where you'd configure your form to set the value of a form field.
    2. The Fill Dropdowns tab of the Form Definition is where you'd configure the data to be used to fill the list of options available in a Dropdown control.
      1. Also, you can make static lists to fill dropdowns. Please see the Dropdown List topic to learn how to make your own lists for this purpose.
  9. When you create a Process Timeline, Process Director sends a variety of email notifications to users. By default, there's an email notification template built into Process Director, but it's a very generic template and not very useful. You should build your own custom email templates to inform your users of information specific to the tasks you want them to perform. The Creating and Customizing Email Templates topic describes the basics of creating custom Email Templates.
  10. Your application will need some way of getting information out of Process Director. You may want to see how many active instances of your application are running, or run a search for specific instances. The Knowledge View object enables you to run simple reports and searches for your application's data.
    1. You can learn more about Knowledge Views and how they work from the Knowledge Views topic.
    2. The Knowledge View Definitions topic describes the configuration options you can use to create your own reports or searches for information from Process Director.